The goal of these workouts is to begin the slow process of healing after a c-section. The sequences are done three times a week and focus on three critical aspects of recovery:

 

  1. Restoration of the Abdominal Muscles
  2. Meditation
  3. Re-conditioning the Body With Regular Walking

 

These workouts are intended for women who are still in the first eight weeks of recovery post-cesarean. You can start the routines as early as two days after your c-section. The goal of this cycle is to get you to a point where you are comfortable walking up to one hour at a moderate to brisk pace with a stroller.

 

There are four two-week phases and you will gradually increase the length of walks and amount of exercises during each week.  Each workout includes a short meditation practice to help you process your birth experience and adjust to the mental and emotional demands of caring for a newborn.

 

If you experience pain at the incision site at any time during these exercises, stop immediately. Feel free to modify the workouts as needed and increase or decrease the intensity as you feel comfortable.

 

Congratulations on the birth of your baby and best of luck in your recovery!

 

Post your results, comments, and questions to the Breaking Muscle forum.

 

Phase 1: Week 1, Day 1

Phase 1: Supine Exercise and Walking Focus
This two-week phase focuses on reconnecting with the transverse abdominal muscles with simple supine exercises you can do in bed. You will also work up to twenty minutes of walking each day. In meditation the focus is processing your birth experience and addressing any fears or anxiety you might have about your birth experience and life with a newborn.

 

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 10 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 5 per side - Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 10 - With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower right away. Repeat.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 3 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes. Walk for 3 more minutes. Repeat at least once more later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
As a mom, doula, and pre/postnatal trainer I've found that processing your birth experience goes a long way in gaining peace and acceptance after having a baby. Women who have had c-sections sometimes feel regret or a lack of involvement in their birth, and meditation can help heal those feelings.

 

For this meditation find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and count ten slow breaths, in and out. Quiet your mind and prepare to ask yourself these questions:

 

  • What emotions do I feel when I think about my child's birth
  • Do I feel any guilt or regret about any aspects of the birth?
  • Have I accepted these aspects?

 

From here, complete the Shifting Perspectives Meditation.

 

Week 1, Day 2

A. Supine Exercises

 

  • Belly Breathing x 12 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 8 per side: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 12:  With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower.  Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 3 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, then relax. Rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 3 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes. Walk for 3 more minutes. Repeat at least once more later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Repeat the meditation from Day 1, but focus this time on any anxieties you have about raising a baby and transitioning into motherhood. Maybe you feel anxious about going to work, lack of sleep, or regaining your strength. Whatever it is, focus on accepting the challenge and working through it during your meditation practice.

 

Week 1, Day 3

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 12 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 8 per side: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 12:  With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower.  Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 3 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, then relax. Rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking
Walk for 4 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 4 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Sit in a quiet place and take five deep breaths to center yourself. Close your eyes and visualize your baby. Think about the things you love most about him or her - the movements, the faces, the noises. Breathe deeply for five minutes and simply feel gratitude, for a safe delivery, healthy baby, and whatever is on the horizon.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

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